Zoe arrived last Monday, May 3rd at 12:30pm. Her due date was May 24, so she was 3 weeks early. We had been planning a c section on May 14 if she hadn't come on her own by then, but we had a scare last Monday where she wasn't moving in what was normally her most active time of the day. We went to the hospital where they did a non-stress test to monitor the baby's heart rate and activity, and she was fine, but being pretty quiet. That's normal for her, but given the last baby was stillborn, and how much stress it was causing me worrying about her, the docs asked if I wanted to deliver that day. I was in complete shock, and Andrew and I talked it over, and my OB upgraded his advice to a recommendation to deliver that day. We agreed to it, and asked when they would do it, and they said they had a c section for 1:30pm (it was about 10am), so they could do it immediately before the next person - eep!
Monday, May 10, 2010
We asked if Andrew had time to run home and get the camera, and they asked where we lived, and they said "yes, but hurry" :-) By the time he got back, I was hooked up to IVs, had spoken with anesthesia, and generally been prepped ready to go. Andrew arrived, and soon after I was walking into the OR.
The c section went smoothly, and it really is the most bizarre thing. Having someone inject stuff into your spine is weird to start with, it's kinda painful, but more of a really odd sensation. Andrew just reminded me today that they tasered me to make sure the spinal was working - I'd forgotten about that. Andrew said it really did look like a taser! They started low on my abdomen, and worked their way up until I said OWWWW!!! They decided the spinal had worked fine, and they started.
About 30 minutes later, I was feeling strong pushing and shoving on my belly, and knew they were starting to get Zoe out. I was still feeling shell shocked, and starting to get really nervous too. Andrew let out a huge gasp and had stood up and was taking photos, and I just remember thinking "come on baby, please cry". Seconds later I heard the WAHHHHHH, and was overcome with emotion. Andrew and I were both sobbing, and he got to go and hold Zoe, and give her her first cuddle :-) He brought her up to me, but I was feeling very zonked, and the drape they have up was right under my chin, so I felt too scared to try and hold her. Zoe scored 9 and 9 on her APGAR tests (10 being the highest), so was in perfect health. We had been warned that while she should be fine, being 3 weeks early, and delivered by c section, she may have some minor lung issues (vaginal deliveries assist with pushing fluid and muck out of baby's lungs as they pass through the birth canal)
Andrew and Zoe went off to the Well Baby Nursery where she got weighed, measured and checked in general. She weighed 6lb 7oz, was 19.5 inches long, and had hair on her sweet little head.
They finished putting me back together, and I was moved to the recovery area, where Andrew and Zoe eventually arrived, and I was able to finally hold her, and she had a go at breast feeding.
The next few days in hospital were fairly non-eventful. I recovered from my c section, we had a private room, so Andrew was able to stay through the night which was a huge help, and we started learning how to look after a newborn.
Zoe is a great little baby, she sleeps really well, doesn't really cry, and loves to snuggle :-) Her weight dropped as expected in hospital, and she had a full day of breast feeding, but being so small, it completely wore her out and the next day she refused to breast feed. Her weight had dropped to 5lb 13oz, and they were worried because she was sitting right near the 10% weight loss mark. So we stopped breast feeding and pumped milk and bottle fed that to her to ensure she got all the nutrition she needed without having to expend too much energy.
We have had a couple of weight checks at the pediatricians since coming home on Thursday, and Friday she had lost another 1/2 ounce, Saturday she'd put on 3 ounces, and today she was another 3 ounces up. I'm still predominately pumping and bottle feeding which is nice because Andrew can help feed her, and they can have bonding time - it's about the only time she's really awake! The pediatrician said today they find babies don't start to do really well at breast feeding until they reach 7 lbs. So we'll continue to pump and bottle feed, and try to put her on the breast when she's alert and calm. If she's super sleepy, or worked up she has no interest in boob, but if she's had a really good sleep she does ok.
She is incredibly sweet, and just loves snuggling up with us. She's sleeping in her crib by day, and in a bassinet next to me at night. In the morning, I generally put her in bed with us, and we watch her squirm, and stretch and make funny facial expressions until she wakes up :-) If she's unsettled at night after her feed, I can put her in the crook of my arm in bed, and within minutes she's fast asleep and can be put back in her bassinet.
I've been letting her demand feed the last couple of nights (they wanted us to not let her go more than 3 hours between feeds when she was losing weight), and she generally does 3 1/2 hours between feeds, although last night she had a 4 1/2 hour stretch! That was probably a little long, but she woke up happy and fed really well after it.
We're so in love with this perfect little person in our lives, and are enjoying every moment of parenthood (although the first feed of the night I struggle to wake up, and Andrew generally sleeps through - I would too, except I HAVE to get up to pump as well).
Anyway, here's a couple of photos of our little poppet.
Zoe entering the world
Created by Sarah at 1:42 pm